Cold Weather II - Reynaud’s Disease
I have Reynaud’s disease - and have had for about the last 20 years. What this means is that if my fingers get cold (or a sudden localised cold shock - like holding a cold stearing wheel in an otherwise warming car), the circulation shuts down.
They go really ugly yellow / white / blue, and the skin just feels like numb leather. Bearing in mind that I cycle in the North East of England (51 degrees north), this could present some problems. But I think I’ve found the solution:
In winter, I always have THREE pairs of gloves with me when I go out cycing.
- Firstly, there’s a pair of Specialised BG Comp mits - a basic layer for if it’s quite warm (say above 10 centigrade)
- Then I have a pair of Altura Thermastretch gloves for temperatures down to about freezing. (But mine aren’t yellow)
- Finally, I have my ski mittens, which can also be worn with either of the above inside them as an extra layer.
This morning, I thought the weather was a Thermastretch day, but by the time I’d done just a few miles (to quote from Withnail & I), my thumbs had gone wierd - numb in fact. Obviously THE WRONG GLOVES for the weather!
Adding the mittens to the top layer cut down the wind chill almost immediately, but it was another ten minutes or so of hard cycling (deliberately working to raise my temperature) before my hands started to thaw out.
This several-pairs-of-gloves in the pocket approach works for me, as my cycling coat has LARGE pockets / vents into the mesh-lined inner that I can store them all in. If you suffer from Reynaud’s, and get on out there . . . how do you keep warm, without over-heating?